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JKDerry2,571 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
So what's the history of the ITN News at lunchtime? It seems to have been in various slots. 12.30, 1.00 & of course now 1.30.


To summarise, in the First Report days it was on from 12:40 from 1972 to 74, before moving to 1:00. The programme became News At One in 1976 where it remained there until Summer 1987, when it moved and changed to News At 12:30. It changed back to News At One in March 1988, before moving to 12:30 in January 1991 because of the Gulf War. The bulletin changed its name to the Lunchtime News in 1992 and remained there until September 2006, when it moved to 1:30.

If anyone had the ‘And Finally’ book from 2005, the story how the original First Report got on air was quite interesting and there was a massive dispute between ITN and the rest of the Network. ITN wanted a 1:00 News but ITV wanted 12:00, the compromise was 12:40, and when the ratings were good this led ITV to change the time of then News to 1:00.

Interesting too that before the 1972 lifting of the restrictions on broadcasting hours which led to the creation of a proper lunchtime news, ITN did produce a short lunchtime news summary on a Saturday in the 1960s to lead into the start of their Saturday afternoon sport and a later afternoon summary on a Sunday. Also on bank holidays ITN always provided a short lunchtime news before the sporting coverage.


BBC News also provided a Lunchtime News summary from 1960 onward - they were always 5 to 10 minutes maximum due to the cheese sparing approach to broadcasting hours set by the Postmaster General back in that era. Very strict limits per day on what "regular" programming both BBC and ITV could air.
WrekinHavoc8 posts since 8 Feb 2020
Before that did ITV have any daytime news?

Not during the week. Apart from the morning Schools’ output and occasional afternoon racing, most regions didn’t schedule programmes until mid to late afternoon, prior to the autumn of 1972.
The extension of the ITV daytime service from week commencing Monday 16 October 1972 saw the start of First Report at 12:40 and new afternoon series including Emmerdale Farm, Crown Court, General Hospital and Good Afternoon.
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itsrobert6,635 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Here’s another very rare piece of short-lived ITN theme music and (hideous) graphics. I honestly don’t recall this particular marque which makes me wonder if this afternoon update was ever aired in Scotland at all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVq6qPu_oH8


This particular afternoon update, in September 1985, may well have gone out in the Yorkshire region only. Previously, ITN had produced a short afternoon summary for Central but Central replaced it with a regional bulletin.


So I wonder when did ITN introduce nationwide news summaries in the mornings and afternoons?
JamesWorldNews9,139 posts since 22 Aug 2004
STV Central BBC World News
Here’s another very rare piece of short-lived ITN theme music and (hideous) graphics. I honestly don’t recall this particular marque which makes me wonder if this afternoon update was ever aired in Scotland at all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVq6qPu_oH8


This particular afternoon update, in September 1985, may well have gone out in the Yorkshire region only. Previously, ITN had produced a short afternoon summary for Central but Central replaced it with a regional bulletin.


So I wonder when did ITN introduce nationwide news summaries in the mornings and afternoons?


IIRC, it coincided with the launch of the atrium studio and John Suchet at the helm of the EEN. I’m not sure if that was also in or around the launch of a revised ITV Daytime schedule, including the launch of This Morning etc.

As Marky mentioned above, in Scotland, John Suchet would be interviewed by the Scotland Today presenters in Glasgow to establish what stories were coming up later on the 540. That chat was contained within the Lunchtime Scotland Today programme, usually before they recapped the main news again.

Therefore, in Scotland, I don’t think the mid afternoon ITN update was shown, but local News was.

Scotland did receive the mid morning ITN summary which was embodied within This Morning.
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JKDerry2,571 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
Before that did ITV have any daytime news?

Not during the week. Apart from the morning Schools’ output and occasional afternoon racing, most regions didn’t schedule programmes until mid to late afternoon, prior to the autumn of 1972.
The extension of the ITV daytime service from week commencing Monday 16 October 1972 saw the start of First Report at 12:40 and new afternoon series including Emmerdale Farm, Crown Court, General Hospital and Good Afternoon.

People now in 2020 don't realise how strict the government was in allowing broadcasting of regular programming before October 1972.


The Postmaster General was the one who set down the hours, and they were gradually increased. In 1966 for example, it was a 50 hour weekly provision split as 7 hours per day Monday to Friday, with 15 hours split over Sat and Sun at 7.5 hours each.

If the BBC or ITV wanted to air anything else outside of these hours, it had to be "exempted programming" - schools, adult education, Welsh language programming, religious programmes, state occasions and then there was an "outside broadcasting quota" provided, to ensure sporting coverage, and in 1966 it was set at 300 hours per year for both the BBC and ITV, with the quota increased in 1968 to 350 hours and then in 1970 to near 400 hours.

I do know ITV liked adult education, as it filled the gaps between the exempted programming and regular programming. For example in 1970, schools programmes would air on ITV from 11.00am - 12.00pm and 1.40pm - 2.45pm - Thames would start their regular programming at 4.15pm, so to fill the 90 minute gap, adult education was used to ensure a full broadcasting day from 1.40pm to after midnight.
JamesLaverty1925246 posts since 28 Feb 2017
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I always felt ITV moving Lunchtime to 1:30 was a mistake, I'm guessing it was to allow Loose Women to follow on from This Morning, which makes sense in a way, but my Grandmother always watched ITN (then ITV) Lunchtime News at 12:30 because it was on first, and while she still occasionally watched BBC News afterwards (she preferred BBC's local news after she moved from Glasgow to Nottingham). After the switch to 1:30, I don't remember her ever watching it again in favour of BBC (or occasionally Five News at 11:30 or whatever time it was on at that point).

I think having the hour long Lunchtime News was a mistake, I watched it fairly often during the summer holiday but it felt bloated and drawn out. I vaguely remember they had a phone in at some point which seemed weird for a news bulletin.
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WrekinHavoc8 posts since 8 Feb 2020
Was the regional news on the itv lunchtime news always 3 minutes

From 14 October 1974, ITV introduced a lunchtime local opt from 13:20 to 13:30 (between First Report and Emmerdale Farm/Crown Court etc) where most regional companies scheduled a short news bulletin of around 5 minutes. In some regions, these bulletins were produced through the Presentation control room, involving the Transmission Controllers and announcers as well as the local newsroom team.
itsrobert6,635 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
So I wonder when did ITN introduce nationwide news summaries in the mornings and afternoons?


IIRC, it coincided with the launch of the atrium studio and John Suchet at the helm of the EEN. I’m not sure if that was also in or around the launch of a revised ITV Daytime schedule, including the launch of This Morning etc.


Are you sure it wasn't earlier than that, James? This page has some examples of mid-morning bulletins from 1988/89: https://www.tvark.org/?page=1931. And this video suggests the mid-afternoon bulletin existed by 1990:



Were these still regional at that point, then?